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Crooks Take Dirty Laundry, Leave $17,000 Case of Baseball Cards

Maybe all of the mainstream media talk about baseball cards not being worth anything anymore finally turned out to work in favor of a seller for a change. Maybe there’s a shortage of briefcases and luggage in the Philadelphia thief community.  Either way, a crime turned into a blessing in disguise–and a darn funny ‘dumb crook’ story.

Steve Hart, owner of Baseball Card Exchange in northwest Indiana, met a customer at an Outback Steakhouse while on a buying trip in eastern Pennsylvania. After the meal, the two walked outside found that someone had broken a window on his SUV.  Shattered glass lay on the ground and around the window smashed while the two were enjoying a steak.

Knowing what was inside made him nervous as he opened the door.  Hart saw his briefcase was gone and the luggage he’d packed full of dirty clothes as he prepared for the drivUnopened 1977 Topps baseball card casee back to the Midwest.  Sitting undisturbed below the spot where the briefcase had been was a factory sealed case of 1977 Topps baseball boxes he had acquired in another deal earlier in the day.  Inside were 16 36-count boxes worth a total of somewhere between $17 and 18,000.

Several other unopened cases were also untouched by the crooks, who are still on the loose, but presumably well prepared for any upcoming business travel.

“I guess the thieves opted for my dirty underwear and all my IRS paperwork that I had in my briefcase as that was what I brought along to work on,” Hart said.  “Bad luck and good luck all in one single break in.”

You can see some of what the thieves didn’t get here.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].